Indian Polity is one of the important subjects in the UPSC examination and an aspirant of this exam knows it very well. It helps us be aware of all the local happenings and thus helps one in creating a sense of awareness among the individuals about the duties, rights, and responsibilities.
How to study Indian Polity is undoubtedly a common query asked by a majority of UPSC aspirants.
To settle all your doubts regarding how you should start your preparation process, our specialists have seeded out some easy yet helpful tips and presented you with a list of amazing books to help you study Indian Polity for UPSC that you can inculcate in your study routine to accomplish your desired target.
So, let’s begin with studying the right approach to it.
The Right Approach To Study Indian Polity
Indian Polity has a considerable weightage in all the three stages of the exam, i.e., the prelims, mains, and interview. This subject is highly theoretical in nature, but its study will aid you in formulating a better sense of awareness regarding the rights, duties, and responsibilities of an individual in India.
It will help you understand the pivotal role the government plays in the efficient functioning of a democracy.
So, let us take a look at the important topics under Indian polity and Governance that you must focus on.
Important Topics from UPSC Polity Syllabus
The Constitution Of India- History, Making, and Philosophy
The Unions and Its Territory
The Fundamental Rights
The Fundamental Duties
The Directive Principles Of State Policy
The Amendments To The Constitution
The Union Government, The Executive, and The Parliament
The State Government; The State Executive and The State Legislature
The Union Territories’ Administration
The Federal System
The Emergency Provisions
The Administration Of Special Areas
The Inter-state Relations
The Constitutional Bodies
The Non-constitutional Bodies
The Special Provisions made for the STs, STs, Minorities, Backward Class, and the Anglo-Indians
The Panchayati Raj
The Rights Issues
The Governance and Public Policy
Is the Syllabus making Your Nervous?
It might look intimidating to check out the long list of syllabus only when you have started with your preparation. But don’t let that make you nervous – it might appear difficult but what cannot be achieved with an amazing amount of hard work being put into it.
Just always remember this rule: “Study to understand and apply knowledge conceptually, do not study to learn the syllabus”. And you’ll be good to go!
Now, let’s move a little further to check out the list of some amazing books to study Indian Polity for UPSC.
Polity Books to Refer
Given below is a list of some great Polity & NCERT books for your preparation:
- Ncert Textbook (Class X) – Democratic Politics II
- Ncert Textbook (Class Xi) – Indian Constitution At Work
- Indian Polity by Author M Laxmikanth
The NCERT books will help you gather basic knowledge of Polity in India.
And once you’ve finished these, you should move to “Laxmikanth’s Indian Polity” – which is recognized as a bible for the preparation of the Polity section for both the papers. This comprehensive and resourceful book is the bible of all the UPSC candidates qualifying for this subject.
So, let’s now focus on how you can strategically prepare for the exam.
You must scrutinize this subject with the aspiration of gaining experience in a way that helps you implement it conceptually to the questions asked in the exam. Many scholars unadvisedly try to mug up the theory, failing to understand that UPSC never asks immediate puzzles.
The questions asked under this topic are definitely tricky, but highly scoring.
We can categorize the questions into the easy, moderate, and difficult range. From the perspective of examination, let’s understand the questions’ nature by checking out some of the examples of the UPSC Polity questions.
This level requires basic knowledge of this subject. Given below are some of the following statements to help you further with the paper. Try to answer such questions because these are the types being asked in the exam.
Statement 1 – Speakers of the legislative assembly shall vacate their office if they cease to be a member of the assembly.
Statement 2 – When the legislative assembly gets dissolved, the speaker shall vacate their office immediately.
Question. Which among the above statements given is/are true?
- 1 only
- 2 only
- 1 and 2 both
- Neither 1 or 2
Solution: Option 1
Now, let’s move on to the moderate level and learn the type of questions being asked at this level.
At this level, slightly tricky questions are asked that demand an in-depth understanding of the subject.
Given below is an example of the type of question being asked at this level. Let’s check this out.
Question. With reference to the Indian parliament, which among the following parliamentary committees’ studies and reports – whether the power to make rules, regulations, sub-rules, etc, conferred by the Indian constitution or delegated by the parliament are properly being utilized within the scope of the above-said delegation?
- Committee on subordinate legislation
- Committee on government assurances
- Business advisory committee
- Rules committee
Solution: Option 1
Now that we have seen the easy and moderate level, let’s move a little further to check out the last level, i.e., the ‘difficult’ one.
This level is highly tricky in nature. The questions being asked at this level are created to confuse you. They require a thorough understanding of the question and the application of concepts that fit. Let’s see an example of this.
Question. Which among the following best symbolizes the appropriate relationship between liberty and the law of the land?
- If there is no law, there is no liberty.
- If laws are changed, often liberty is in danger.
- If there will be more laws, there is less liberty.
- If there is liberty, laws would be made by the people.
Solution: Option 1
Since the number of application-based questions is increasing, you must leave behind the learning method, and move on to conceptual understanding. Questions from polity are both basic and dynamic in nature.
When preparing the basics of a certain topic, you must ensure you study the related current events pertaining to the topic as well.
Now, let’s move further to see how one can skillfully make use of studying the Laxmikant book of Indian Polity to score the highest marks in this subject.
How To Read Indian Polity by M Laxmikant?
The book is categorized into multiple divisions. Let’s move further to learn about the different parts included in this book and the topics being covered in them:
This part is highly crucial since around 30% of the questions under polity will be out of these topics.
Let us see the topics being included in this part:
- The Salient Features of The Constitution.
- The Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties.
- The Directive Principles of State Policy.
- The Preamble.
- Union and Its Territories and Citizenship.
Now, let’s move on to check out the second part of this polity book.
Significant topics from Part 2 – Indian Polity by M. Laxmikant includes the following:-
- Federal and Unitary Features of The Indian Constitution.
- Interstate Relations.
- The Parliamentary and Presidential Forms of Government.
- Center-state Legislations.
- Special Status of Jammu & Kashmir.
- Emergency Provisions.
- Types of Emergencies.
- National Emergency.
- President’s Rule.
- Special Provisions for Some States.
Under Centre-state Relations as well as Interstate Relations, one must update himself/ herself with all current events relating to it.
The Emergency Provisions is a crucial topic. Under the Types of Emergencies, give weightage to National emergency and President’s rule. A financial emergency is not very important. Don’t forget to study Article 370 in detail as it talks about the Special Status of Jammu & Kashmir.
Now, let’s move on to critical portions of Part 3.
Given below is a list of topics being covered in this part:
- Different Parliamentary Committees.
- The President and The Central Council of Ministers.
- The President’s Powers, Their Election, and Impeachment.
- Pardoning Power of President.
While reading, pay close attention to the Parliament’s composition, operation, privileges, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Don’t forget to read the President and the Central Council of Ministers thoroughly. The President’s powers, election, and impeachment, the Ordinance Making Power, and the Pardoning Power of the President is crucial.
The Vice-President and Cabinet Committee mustn’t be given high weightage. But the Prime Minister is a major topic.
The Supreme Court is another major topic along with Judicial Activism and Public Interest Litigation (PIL).
Part IV – The States and Constitutional Bodies
- The differences between the powers of the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers, etc.
- The differences between the powers of the President and the Governors.
- The Constitutional bodies and the Non-constitutional bodies.
- The Statutory and Non-statutory bodies.
- Election Commission.
- NITI Ayog.
- You must read the newspapers daily to check current events relating to these topics.
- Election Commission, powers of the CAG and AG are important topics
Part V – Panchayati Raj
- Study the Jurisdiction of the Panchayats, and the PESA Act
- The remaining portion concentrates mainly on the IAS mains exam.
The basic topics to be covered here are:
- Political Parties And Political Dynamics
- The Election Laws
- The Electoral Reforms
- Anti-defection Laws
- The Appendix
Besides reading the above-mentioned book well at least once, you must adopt the practice of note-making and prepare Indian Polity notes for UPSC Polity. You can also refer to some of the Polity notes being provided by your seniors.
Ensure daily reading of newspapers, and solving the prelims papers from the previous years.
We hope this clears all your doubts on how to study Indian Polity. This subject is a high-scoring subject if you have clarity and a clear understanding of the basics underlying the concepts.
If you have any doubts regarding the same, feel free to use the comments section given below and tell us all about it because we’ll be more than happy to help you through it. Also, don’t forget to check out our other blogs.